These two pieces by Pauline Bickford-Duane were based on the this text file of words randomly selected from Really System issues 1-5.
climb this rocky
as regular travelers who
understand the whim and wit
of nature. Not chased, not disorderly,
integrated with each other yet unconnected
from the world they leave behind. Parsecs pass
and the last sunrise spreads over the land. A buzz blooms
among them, a sonic communication that becomes not only wise
counsel but the opening to a discussion of what knowledge exactly these
silver hills hold, and why we must go there, to be as happy as others are in pictures.
Well, I thought I might see more clearly
if I stepped into a cafe and watched the people go by,
outwardly such a calm flock
and in pictures they always seem to have it together,
but now it’s clear,
the faces here aren’t happy,
they’re being chased by some inhuman buzz,
endless counsel that becomes abuse,
a sonic disorder of the mind
that unconnects people and blooms for parsecs
and integrates with every last person until|
even the silver-haired can’t remember
that happy environment that used to be about the land.
Pauline is a senior at Wheaton College (MA) and is double majoring in English and French Studies.